OK, so last night I decided to go ahead and download Terraria to see what everybody is jabbering about. Here is my review of it:
After first loading up the game and starting a new game, I was greeted with an advanced character editor. You were able to change the colors of EVERYTHING that was on the player. This would be fine and dandy, but instead of a chart of basic colors you have 3 sliders for the RGB hues of the image. It took me half an hour to get the colors for the character exactly how I wanted. I enjoy the freedom of changing every feature of the character, but for the casual gamer I have a feeling they would give up or use the default character.
Once the war between getting my character's hair to be the right shade of blue, I was given the option of the size of the world. Naturally I chose the largest world size. I then got dropped off into a hilly forest with some dude called the "Guide". At first I thought "Oh cool! This guy will tell me what to do to get to doing whatever the fuck you do in this game!" This guy who is supposedly there to help me then ended up getting killed, causing me to go to the wiki for everything. Although that may be my fault as I locked him outside with a hoard of zombies.
I have no idea what I expected the resources to be like, I had supposed that cutting down the tree would give leaves and tree trunks. I ended up getting acorns and wood resources. I also noticed that there was precious metals literally just lying in the grass in random clumps. Since the world has trees regrow and ores obtainable by skipping through the meadows, this removes the difficulty in getting the minerals to build a proper house. Since I was still in minecraft mode, I ended up cutting down every tree in the area around my spawn without realizing that one tree could build a suitable house for the first night.
Personally my favorite part of this game. The reason is that the inventory for your single player saves is apparently the same as for multiplayer inventories. I have no idea how, but after joining and leaving a server, I ended up the proud(?) owner of a pwn hammer in singleplayer. This seems pretty cool, as I can probably hack a bunch of hard-to-get things into my character's inventory, then go onto a server and do whatever. I would hate for this feature to be in games like minecraft, but for this it is a decent way of managing the inventory.
In all my game time I have only encountered a few of the enemies, and before I played multiplayer they were pretty difficult. However after I somehow got a pwn hammer most of these guys can be taken down with 2-4 hits. I have a feeling that without going onto a server I would have had a more rich experience with dying from zombies and slimes, but now I need to go into the corruption to feel in danger.
I have not encountered any NPCs aside from the "guide", but from what I've read they seem to be pretty damn useful. I hope they can actually defend themselves and not die like guide when I feed them to the hostiles, but whatever. I would have expected them to live in their own homes and have you come to them, but instead they have to come to a house you built for them.
This was actually entertaining, as it was way simpler than minecraft in a sense that you just needed to get materials and walk to a utility station to make something. This was rather nice, kudos to the developers for doing it this way.
Comparison to Minecraft:
Honestly the games are completely different aside from the ability to edit the terrain and other shit like that. However I still feel that Minecraft is better in the sense that it was made by my favorite developers and really got me interested with Java programming. Terraria brings new blocks, items and enemies to the table, but I just can't stand that people say that the game it was based off of needs to be more like it.
The game is pretty good, but many features either baby the player or get the player in a sticky situation without explaining how to get out(then again, I did leave the guide to die before listening to everything he had to say) The resources it adds are very original and bring great reason to explore and get everything. So for it's effort at divorcing itself from the term "Minecraft clone" I give it a 7/10.